It was roughly over two years ago, in the spring of 2017, when we (Katri and Annika) had the pleasure of visiting IRSTEA (National Institute for Environmental and Agricultural Science and Research) in Lyon, France. This short-term scientific mission was funded by the COST Action CA15113 and was hosted by Dr. Thibault Datry. Our scientific goal for this trip was to start writing a review article but our not-so-scientific goal was just to enjoy France. Indeed, during those two weeks we were able to visit various museums, had a picnic at a park, a small cocktail party at our hosting office, a birthday party at our colleague’s home, we visited the local zoo at least two times, tasted local wines and pastries, and last but not least, we enjoyed the spring time in France.
But, honestly, we did also work during our visit and now, after two years, our review paper is finished. We (Katri and Annika) did not, of course, write this paper alone, though. As you can see from the caption below, there are quite a few names of brilliant scientists on the co-author list: Dr. Félix Picazo, Dr. Thibault Datry, Dr. Rachel Stubbington, Dr. Petr Pařil , Dr. Mariana Perez Rocha and Dr. Jani Heino.
Our paper is entitled: Parallels and contrasts between intermittently freezing and drying streams: From individual adaptations to biodiversity variation.
Intermittent and ephemeral streams result from periodic drying of stream channels. However, there are also streams that sometimes freeze completely down to the streambed. This phenomenon where ‘liquid water freezes to solid ice’ can be seen as being equivalent to the loss of surface water when streams dry out. Because the loss of free water in both freezing and drying streams alters the connectivity and availability of habitats for aquatic species, these different stream types may also experience similar ecological consequences in response to the disturbance caused by the freezing or drying events.
In our review paper, we explore how intermittent freezing and intermittent drying events affect the aquatic biota and how stream biodiversity respond to the disturbance caused by freezing or drying. While doing our review study, we found out how both freezing and drying phenomena have pervasive effects on the dynamics and structure of aquatic communities. At the individual organism level, aquatic species have a wide range of physiological, morphological, life‐history, and behavioral responses that promote species existence in the freezing and drying streams. These various responses further lead to both biodiversity increases and decreases in these different ecosystem types (i.e. intermittent freezing and intermittent drying).
If you got yourself interested in finding out more about this subject, go ahead and read the whole paper published online on Freshwater Biology: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/fwb.13373
– K –
P.S. Katri is thankful for the COST Action CA15113 (SMIRES, Science and Management of Intermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams, http://www.smires.eu), supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), for enabling the research visit and the writing of the paper. Annika thanks Maa- ja vesitekniikan tuki ry for a grant to make the research visit.